Comment 49695

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 17, 2010 at 14:36:34

So far, Bob Bratina has benefited from his long-time relationship with the Hamilton media to propel him into the thick of current mayoralty race.

Bob Bratina did not formally announce his candidacy for mayor of Hamilton until September 10, 2010. This seemed to allow CHML time to subliminally pre-campaign for Bratina, either for mayor or for Ward 2 councillor, over the first several months of 2010 without Bratina having to declare their assistance as an election expense. For example, from February, 2010 to July, 2010, Bratina and Bill Kelly, his colleague at CHML, acted in tandem on an anti-west harbour stadium fear mongering campaign. On his talk show, Kelly made sure to attack the current mayor, Fred Eisenberger, whenever he discussed the stadium location. Kelly rarely if ever mentioned that nine other city councillors also voted in favour of the west harbour stadium site. Kelly also never mentioned that Kelly himself had voted in favour of the west harbour stadium location back on April 30, 2003 when he was a city councillor and the city was bidding for the Commonwealth Games.

An interesting fork in the road occurred in late July, 2010. Mr. Bratina, who proposed the Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School as a Pan Am stadium site although that parcel of land was too small to accommodate it, changed his mind and became a supporter of the west harbour stadium site when it looked as though the east mountain would become the stadium site. But nothing changed at CHML. Kelly continued his attacks on Eisenberger. Bratina seemed to be immune from similar attacks.

CHML also “jumped the shark” on its morning news broadcasts. On numerous occasions during the first several months of 2010, CHML played more taped “news” sound bytes from Bob Bratina about the stadium or other issues than from the mayor or any other councillor. The morning newsreader, Paul Tipple, could have literally yelled across the room to morning host Bratina and asked “Hey, Bob! What do you think about (the issue du jour)?”

The clincher came on August 31, 2010 after Hamilton city council voted in favour of investigating a potential stadium site at the McMaster Innovation Park. Mr. Bratina spoke with The Toronto Star later the same day. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Staff at Hamilton city hall will sit down with the team for an intensive evaluation of the west end site, which is owned by McMaster University, Hamilton councillor Bob Bratina said in a telephone interview.

He said the site was supposed to be used to house firms involved in innovation, but that hasn’t really happened.

“Innovation Park hasn’t been fulfilling its mandate…so they’re probably just as happy to look at alternatives to the (prescribed) land use,” Bratina added.”

Here is the link to the article:

Mr. Bratina’s ill-considered statement to the Toronto Star seemed to express or imply that the McMaster Innovation Park was a failure and that McMaster University had given up on the project and would be willing to sell and/or allow the construction of a stadium on its lands. Neither Bill Kelly nor anyone else at CHML, CHCH-TV, Cable 14 television, or the Hamilton Spectator, which frequently prints Toronto Star articles to fill its pages, reported or criticized the statement Mr. Bratina made to The Toronto Star. Had Mayor Eisenberger or any other councillor made the same statement to a Toronto newspaper, it would likely have received plenty of attention and criticism in the local media.

The stadium issue and the current municipal election have shone a light on a biased, dysfunctional Hamilton media.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-10-17 13:37:09

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